For the first time since winning the AFC East division title in 2009, the Miami Dolphins appeared to be putting themselves in position to make a run at the playoffs with Ryan Tannehill at the helm. Well, I hate to start this conversation already, but the Dolphins need to consider who the next quarterback will be that will forever live in the shadow of Dan Marino much like the 17 that have followed in his footsteps.
Who is really to blame though? It’s hard to say that it is all Tannehill’s fault because in his defense, he is learning on the fly. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland overreached by taking him where they did to begin with. In a quarterback class with names like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson, Ireland was high-fiving his personnel in the Dolphins’ war-room for taking a quarterback who had 19 career collegiate starts for Texas A&M as a quarterback.
What is further confusing about the decision to draft him in the first place was that of all the quarterbacks taken in the draft that year, Tannehill was ranked 12th in his conference; not 12th in NCAA — the conference. Who high-fives that? The draft that could have saved the franchise appears to be the draft where the Dolphins let theirs reamin stagnant.
Beyond the reasoning for taking him, which I’m quite sure no one will make me understand, the things he does on the field are also very telling of why he may not be the quarterback that Dolphins’ front office and fans were hoping he might be.
The Dolphins had two weeks to prepare for the Buffalo Bills which means Tannehill had that same amount of time. The payoff? Tannehill’s first pass of the game going 19 yards the other direction for a Bills defensive touchdown. He doesn’t look through his progressions, he doesn’t look off his receivers, he doesn’t get rid of the football and when he does they are only letting him throw slants and outs which completely defeats the purpose of signing Mike Wallace. He did manage to make up for his early interceptions by throwing a couple of touchdowns to Brandon Gibson, but he fumbled the ball for his third turnover of the game with just under three minutes to go. That turnover gave Buffalo possession inside the red zone with a chance to kill the clock and win the game with a field goal.
The result of this game is on Tannehill, and the good teams in the league don’t lose because of their quarterback which is exactly what happened to the Dolphins today.